Some food for thought:
Many of us think, when reading Matthew 26:45-46 (..."My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"), that Jesus is crying out to God in desperation because Jesus has been forsaken. We think that maybe his father has left him there to suffer and die in agony and pain. We think that maybe God is a cruel father in this moment. Or at least I have for many years.
However, a very wise counselor pointed out to me that Jesus is actually referencing something else here. Remember the 22nd Psalm? Neither did I, but here is how this song begins...
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?” Psalm 22:1
Sounds familiar, right? Now, read through the rest of it...
An entirely beautiful sonnet that depicts the emotions of a man being teased and taunted, circled and beaten, and yet knowing and trusting that God is his father and protector, the one who will deliver him from evil and bring him into paradise. And because Jesus was displayed before the Jews, and because He knew these words by heart, he knew he could declare the first words of the Psalm and yet everyone would know what he meant. Proclaiming those powerful words showed the crowd that even though he was in despair and extreme pain, he knew who his Father was, and that this was not the end. He knew God was there with him and would save him because He loved him.
So, as many of us find ourselves in despair and extreme pain, impossible circumstances and moments of doubt and fear, let us not forget that we have never been forsaken. He has never left us to die; He has never left us to suffer. He has never left us in pain without being right beside us. We will all find ourselves in these places of deep pain, but it is so important to remember that God never left Jesus, and He'll never leave you.
This Friday is so powerful because of Jesus' decision to die for us, but even more important because of the love He had for us even when enduring such pain. Do not let guilt be the ruler of this weekend for you, let love be a reminder of your value and worth.
Happy Easter, family and friends.